Many of you have waited for this chapter for a long, long time.
By now most of you are frustrated with me, or have long since forgotten that this story even existed.
Some of you are wondering what is going on now, or have only gotten here after rereading/skimming the entire story as to figure out what exactly is going on.
But wait no longer.
For the new chapter of I've Seen Weirder has arrived.
Yours truly, the Amazing Con-San.
The fires and excitement was dying down. The hospitals would be full to night, but at least there were more living than dead. Danny took a deep breath exhausted, his ghostly glow flickering in and out like a candle in the wind. Logan put a hand on his shoulder.
"Come on kid, you're the walking dead," Logan smirked at his choice of words and Danny cracked a weary smile, "You need rest." Logan said. Danny nodded the lights from police cars and ambulances, from fire trucks and news vans illuminating the night with flash after flash. No one noticed one more flash as a weary looking black haired teen slumped against a pile of rubble. Logan helped Danny to his feet. Danny wobbled hesitantly.
"Thank you." Danny said softly making his way toward the crowd of mutants that had gathered on the outskirts of the news, police, and spectators.
"For what?" Logan asked gruffly. Danny smiled slightly eyelids drooping as Storm gave a nod toward the two.
"For... not freaking out... or... you know... for just excepting me... and my weirdness." Danny said fighting back a yawn. Logan grunted and Danny gave a soft weak chuckle.
"It really means more than you know." Danny said eyes going unfocused as they grew nearer to the group. Some of the other mutant kids looked up noticing Danny.
"Hey! He's ok!" Someone yelled. A small group of kids ran toward Danny gathering around him, Rouge and Kitty among them.
"You're ok?" Kitty asked.
"Mostly." Danny replied.
"Is Bobby ok?" Rouge asked anxiously. Danny nodded every so slightly suppressing another yawn unsuccessfully. Storm came up to the group.
"Leave Danny alone now, he's been through a lot." The kids nodded and a few dispersed leaving Storm, Logan, Danny, Rouge and Kitty alone. Storm stared at Danny for a moment then wrapped him in a hug.
"I'm glad you're safe." She said giving him a small squeeze. She then released him looking at him full in the face, "Please forgive my actions the other day, I was wrong to judge you without knowing the full story." she whispered so that only Danny could hear. Danny nodded barely awake, "I think it's time you got some well deserved rest." Storm said. Danny didn't even argue, in fact the only noise he made was a soft snore as he leaned against Logan.
(This pain is just too real)
Danny opened his eyes, the sun was poking through the curtains that had been drawn in the room he was staying in. At his bedside two heads were planted firmly in his blankets, one on each side of him. Danny gave a small smile. Tucker who was to his left made a sleepy comment about chocolate milk. Sam stirred then fell back to sleep at his right. Danny smiled softly then phased out of the covers and bed so that he wouldn't wake them. He walked to the door opening it slowly and looking out into the hall. There were a few mutant kids walking around talking amongst themselves. They didn't even notice Danny slip out of his room and head down the hall, down the stairs and out the door to the garden.
Slowly approaching the headstones with an air of respect Danny sat in front of Professor X's tombstone, he stared at the grey rock and sighed.
"Something on your mind?" Came a voice from behind him.
"My friends are here. I know they expect me to come home with them. They understand me, they know me, what I am and what I can do, and they aren't afraid. They are always there for me, they know me in a way no one else has bothered to know me... until Bobby... or you... or Logan. And I know it's selfish to want to stay here, not only because I can't stand going back to Amity Park but because I'm... I'm at home here. I'm comfortable. The people here are the best. You truly founded an impressive school. I'm not the freak around here. I'm not seen as a geek or a wimp or a dork either. And I would be lying to myself, and my two best friends if I said that... because of that... that I don't want to go back to Amity Park. I could just tell them that it's because of what my parents did, but that would imply telling them what happened... if Jazz, my sister, hasn't already. But the thing is... I'm happy here." Danny sighed, "And I know it's selfish for that to be the main reason I want to stay but..." Danny rubbed a tear from his eye. "It's really the only reason I can't leave."
Professor X put a hand on Danny's shoulder and Danny looked up.
"We all have our responsibilities, those to others, and yet, those to ourselves. Danny, you have to take care of yourself, do what you think is right, but not only for the good of your friends, but for your own sake." Prof. X gave Danny a smile, "If you feel you are honor bound to return to Amity Park, the place where such tragedy took place in your young life then... perhaps we should look at the reasons why you would return. Is it because of loyalty to your friends? Or perhaps the ghosts you spoke of? Maybe because you are just that sort of person, willing to sacrifice yourself, physically, mentally and emotionally, for the good of others. However, even with all those reasons... you deserve to live your own life. I highly support using your powers for the good of others, its one of the main things we teach at this school. You've yet to have a lesson that involves strategy for saving others, threat being mutant, natural, or human. That being said, if you wish to stay here, I will not try to talk you out of it, you deserve the break. Even though, I think we both know you will have to return there eventually, that day doesn't have to be today." the Professor looked kindly down on Danny, "I can only offer my opinion. The choice however, is yours."
Danny smiled a little bit, "Thanks." Then he stood up and shook the Professor's hand.
(There's just too much that time cannot erase)
Now came the hard part. Danny stood in front of the door to "his" room. He could hear Sam and Tucker behind it talking about how excited they were to have found Danny, how eager they were to have him with them again, and how surprised Jazz was going to be because she hadn't thought they would find him. Granted, it was only because of the Guys in White that they had found him, but they didn't think that counted. Danny took a deep breath and opened the door.
"Danny!" Sam and Tucker announced at the same time, Danny forced a smile onto his face.
"Hey, whats up?" Danny asked, "Long time no see." He smiled. Sam nodded.
"What happened? You've just been here hanging out with mutants the whole time?" Sam asked. Danny's smile faltered.
"Actually... I've only been here a week or so." Danny said. Sam's eyes narrowed.
"But you've been missing for months!" She protested. Danny shook his head.
"I... Jazz... She didn't tell you?" He said softly. Sam and Tucker looked at each other.
"She was pretty shaken up about something. But her parents had her in the house the entire time you were gone. I think they were afraid of her going missing too. And since... you know... she's in college, well Jazz wasn't too happy about it. The last time we saw her she had her bags packed. She'd arranged it so that she would live on campus instead of commuting like she's been doing." Tucker rubbed the back of his neck, "She had all her bags in the car and she was about to leave when we caught up to her. She looked at us like something horrible had happened and Sam... well Sam and I thought the worst." Tucker ran his hands over his short hair, "We thought... we thought you had died or something man."
"I... well... I did." Danny said. He closed his eyes against the memories and thought NO to himself trying not to lose himself in a flashback. "I'm surprised my parents weren't announcing it all over town in fact... perhaps my mom was able to keep my dad quiet to avoid the trouble off press and the GIW etc... then again, maybe they were so wrapped up in dissecting me they didn't even stop to think about blabbing all over town about it."
"Dissecting... what?" Sam took a step back sinking onto the bed, "Oh... oh god... oh my god Danny." Her hand flew over her mouth as she stared and the dark haired boy.
"Dude..." Tucker said, "Your own parents... why didn't you just... change back?" He asked. Danny shook his head.
"I... I don't know... I couldn't... I don't know why... but by the time I had changed back... it was too late... I... well I died..." Danny shook his head wishing he could put it in a better way.
"You... died?" Tucker asked, Sam was still sitting on the bed staring in horror at Danny.
"Jazz... she brought me back... threw me... my body into the portal. Somehow managed to bring all of me back." Danny shook his head, "Look, can we stop talking about this now." He asked. Sam and Tucker nodded.
"So..." the word hung in the air for a while before slowly vanishing into the silence. The trio shifted uncomfortably and stared at their feet the wall, but not at each other. Danny sighed sinking to the floor his head buried in his arms which rested against his knees that he had drawn up to his chest.
"I take it you're not in a hurry to go back." Tucker finally said. Danny looked up, he managed a small apologetic smile.
"What?" Sam said jumping to her feet, "But... what about everything at home, the ghosts? School, your home?!" Sam burst out. Danny recoiled then stood up staring at Sam choosing his words carefully.
"Sam... please... please, please, please, don't take this the wrong way... but there is nothing, nothing left in Amity Park for me to return to." Danny said solemnly.
"What about us!" Sam burst out. Danny shook his head.
"You didn't let me finish. I... I'm happy here Sam. Really, and truly happy. I can't explain it. It's selfish in someways... but after what I've been through don't I deserve a break? Don't I deserve to have a vacation? Don't I deserve to be selfish? To be happy? I CAN'T go back Sam. I don't think you fully understand the horror of what I went through, and I am not willing to make you understand, especially if that means I have to relieve it all over again. I just... Sam... After everything I... I want to stay here." Danny said. Sam's eyes were furious.
"If you you can just sit back here while Amity Park is in danger, if you can abandon us after we've spent months searching for you, if you can just up and leave us behind like that... maybe... you're more selfish than I thought!" Sam said folding her arms, "I though you were... a hero, a gentleman... I never thought you'd do something so... so wrong. So selfish. Don't you even care about us?" Danny stood there as if he'd been slapped.
"Selfish..." Danny blinked and Tucker withdrew silently from the room, "Me... selfish?" Danny laughed, "Everything I've done, with some minor exceptions, has always been to help others! My school work, my social life, my family relationships... they've all gone down the toilet because I and a teenage freak! Because I use my powers to help people. Because I stepped into that stupid ghost portal and look where it got me. I'm sick and tired of this. Sam... you're one of my best friends, I thought you understood this more than anyone." Danny advanced on Sam who backed up around the bed and into a wall. Danny put both hands on either side of Sam's head. Sam stared defiantly back. Danny's acid green eyes bore into her purple ones. He whispered, voice controlled, but rage hovering just on the other side of the thin mask of calm.
"How am I selfish just because I don't want to go back to the place where my life became a living hell. Do you think that I don't feel bad about leaving you and Tucker there? You're my best friends, you've stood by me through thick and thin... but can't you see that I'm dying in more ways than one. Even before the dissections, even before then... how could you not see how this was affecting me? I... I don't want to be like this. I never wanted to be half dead... half ghost, whatever... I never wanted to be a freak, to have to fight for my life and my after life day in and day out... my parents, my own parents, hunting me, the town hating me or loving me. You and Tucker were the only things in my life that made it worth it to get out of bed in the morning. Yes... I have to admit... I do want to help people. Yes... this is my "gift" and I will use it to the benefit of others. I have been. I do want to help others. So don't you dare call me selfish... The one time, the one single time, that I make a choice for my happiness than for the happiness of others and you..." Danny's eyebrows crinkled as he stared into Sam's now crying eyes, "You... you just... how could you? Don't you even understand? I thought you did... but now... It's... I'm not sure anymore. I care for you Sam, a lot. But... How can you stand there and call me selfish, when all I want is to be happy... is my happiness really to much to ask for?" Danny withdrew his hands from the wall stepping back, "I will come back Sam. I know I can't stay away forever... I just... Can't I have this tiny bubble of happiness while it lasts... Please."
Sam wiped her eyes hastily on the back of her hand.
"Don't leave me Danny..." She said softly. Danny reached his hand out then brought it back uncertainty.
"Sam..." He brushed a hair out of her face, "Please... don't make this harder than it is already. I will come back. I promise... Just give me a while to sort myself out first."
Sam held Danny's hand in hers. A pause as she drew in a shuddering breath.
"I... Ok... but I'm going to hold you to that promise. If you break it..." Sam shook her head. "Just come back to me." Danny gave her a small smile.
"Thank you Sam... Goodbye for now." Danny his lips brushing the hand that gripped his so tightly. They both turned red, then Sam walked out of the room leaving Danny facing the wall. She looked back as she stood in the doorway, Danny however, didn't turn around. This would be goodbye. For how long they didn't know. All Danny knew is that if he turned around, he might have followed Sam right out the door and back into the Hell he'd just escaped. And while he knew he would go through hell and back for his best friends... He wasn't ready just yet to go back.
I hope you enjoyed this installment.
If you like what you see please send me a review, but clicking in that fancy box below here and writing some comments.
Also, I am now accepting cover art for this story if anyone would like to take up the challenge. Send them to my deviant account Dontmournforthedead. (sorry fruity you're not the only one who knows who I am anymore).
Oh... and one more thing...
THIRTY SPACE CHICKENS GO!